Official Army Religious Forum Discontinued

The Stars and Stripes reported on an official Army message board that covered a variety of topics, but whose most popular forums were on topics of religion.  A portion of the religion-oriented forum was recently discontinued.

The article hypothesized that the popularity of the forum was due to the fact that it reflected the diversity of the Army community, rather than many other online forums that are dominated by one group or another.

Army Chaplain Addresses SBC

The Baptist Press covers a speech by the Army chief of Chaplains, Maj Gen Douglas Carver, to the Southern Baptist Convention in early June.

“Our soldiers carry a heavy, heavy load…and we get to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ unencumbered while in uniform.”

New Chief’s Religion his First Issue

Blogs and news articles have highlighted the fact that General Norton Schwartz (official bio), the current selection to replace outgoing Air Force Chief of Staff General Michael Moseley, is Jewish.  They emphasize that he is inheriting a service with “issues” involving evangelical Christians.  The Forward notes that Michael Weinstein, who has sued the Defense Department for alleged Christian bias, has already asked to meet the General, even though he has yet to be confirmed by the Senate.

Regrettably, the unnecessary focus on religion distracts from what many in the Air Force find more interesting: the fact that the new Chief of Staff will be the first non-fighter/bomber pilot to lead the Air Force in its history.  (An official list of all Chiefs of Staff can be viewed here.)

Book Review: Crash and Burn

Jack Edward Wright
Winepress Publishing, 2003.
Topic: Autobiographical

Mr. Wright’s book is advertised as a book about a pilot who has an accident that brings him to God. While it’s an interesting look at the Air Force of 20 years ago and dramatically conveys the details of Wright’s tragic accident, it says little of his life afterwards, and it says even less of substance about the potential spiritual impact on his life.

The book is interesting in its portrayal of Mrs. Wright’s response to many of the pilot activities. Of note, Winepress is a reputable self-publishing company.

Not recommended.

This book is available from Christian Book Distributors and Amazon.

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Book Review: How Christians Made Peace with War

John Driver
Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2007.
Topic: Christianity and War

Written by a Mennonite (generally considered a pacifist denomination), this book gives an interesting historical account of the relationship between Christianity and war.

Not recommended. If you happen to be interested in the church history of war and military service, it is a worthwhile read.

This book is available from Amazon.

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Book Review: Battle Hymn

Dean Hess
Buckeye Aviation Book Company, Reynoldsburg, OH, 1987.
Topic: Christianity and War

Battle Hymn is the true story of a preacher who became a fighter pilot and fought in World War II and Korea. Col Dean Hess is largely credited with the forming the Republic of Korea (South Korea) Air Force and being the driving force behind Operation Kiddy Car, in which hundreds of orphans were flown out of Seoul to avoid the Communist invasion.

Though some sources question the bravado of Col Hess, the story presents an interesting look at a spiritual man in what sometimes seems an unholy profession. Apparently the book was also made into a movie by the same name (starring Rock Hudson) that strayed slightly from the true storyline.

Recommended. While not always complimentary of Hess’s actions (both as a Christian and an Air Force officer), it is a worthwhile read. It is a particularly interesting read for young fighter pilots who are looking to an assignment at Osan or Kunsan in Korea.

This book appears to be out of print, but the most recent (1987) and older versions are available through re-sellers at Amazon.

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